I am an expat living in Dubai. A month ago, I was involved in an accident that left two cars totally damaged and three persons seriously injured. I was driving without a UAE driving licence but I have an Egyptian licence. The police came and after investigation, they found out that it was my mistake and decided to put me in jail. I had been in jail for two weeks, then they agreed to let me go on bail after someone deposited his passport and my passport as guarantee. I came to know that the prosecution has forwarded my case to the traffic court, which I am supposed to attend next month. What penalties the traffic court might impose on me as per the UAE traffic law? In case I produce my Egyptian driving licence to the traffic court, will that make any different and support my case?

I would like to advise the questioner that Article 51 of the UAE Traffic Law mentions the following: “Shall be jailed for a maximum period of three months and fined a maximum amount of six thousand dirhams or one of these two imposed on every person who drives a vehicle without a driving licence or without a licence allowing him to drive such a vehicle.” The questioner will not get any benefit by showing the traffic court his Egyptian licence because the questioner is not allowed to drive in the UAE with such a licence as per the UAE Traffic Law.

Maximum period of stay abroad

I live in Dubai. My wife is under my sponsorship but is working in a company based in Dubai. Six months back, she went back to our country because she was pregnant and got a maternity leave approved from her company. She will not be able to come back till she completes three months after delivering the baby. Her visa is valid till March 2019. What is the maximum period a person can stay outside the UAE without losing the residency right under the visa rules? What is the procedure to bring her back after nine months? Officials of her company have told me that they have the right as per the UAE law to file an absconder complaint at the labour ministry against her because she has been absent for more than six months. What legal action can the company take against my wife in this case? Can she enter the UAE again?

I would like to advise the questioner to apply to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs [GDRFA] in Dubai requesting them to allow his wife to re-enter the country after providing a proof of her inability to return to the country within six months, which is the maximum period allowed for staying outside the UAE as per the GDRFA. The directorate will consider the matter as a humanitarian case. Regarding the absconder complaint, which the employer is going to file against the questioner’s wife, as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s rules, filing an absconder complaint against an employee is not acceptable as long as the employee is outside the UAE. The employer only has the right to cancel the temporary work permit of the questioner’s wife if the employer can prove that she has been outside the country for more than six months.

— Questions answered by advocate Mohammad Ebrahim Al Shaiba of Al Shaiba Advocates and Legal Consultants.